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Tess of the d'Urbervilles


Published October 21, 2008
Topics librivox, audiobook,


Librivox recording of Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Read by Adrian Praetzellis.

One of the greatest English tragic novels, TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES (1891) is the story of a “pure woman” who is victimized both by conventional morality and its antithesis. Born near Dorchester, Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) set most of his stories in the region between Berkshire and Dorset in the fictional county of Wessex. He was a controversial writer whose work often showed the result of flouting the rigid Victorian moral code -- his novel JUDE THE OBSCURE was (allegedly) burned by the Bishop of Wakefield for its shocking content. Hardy was an unflinching observer and in TESS has left us some unforgettable vignettes of rural life in late 19th-century England: the slow death of a flock of wounded pheasants, the monotony of field labour under an iron gray sky, and the itinerant farm worker’s seasonal round. (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)

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Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Run time 17:51:53

Reviews

Reviewer: jollyrogered - - March 23, 2012
Subject: Wow.
I am absolutely floored by Hardy's excellence as an author in this book. I was force-fed it in high school, at a time I had no appreciation for such things, but ten years later this story has had a major impact on me.


Once again Adrian provided an absolutely excellent reading. He is one of my favorite narrators on Librivox!
Reviewer: Janice Booth - - September 7, 2009
Subject: Reading of Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Adrian gives an outstanding reading of this classic, tragic novel. I am studying it for University and Adrian's tone, pitch and accents are spot on and makes you feel immersed in the novel. Many thanks Adrian for a job very well done!
Reviewer: Philippe Horak - - December 1, 2008
Subject: An impressive recording
The novel centers around a young woman who struggles to find her place in society. When it is discovered that the low-class Durbeyfield family is in reality the d'Urbervilles, the last of a famous bloodline that dates back hundreds of years, the mother sends her eldest daughter, Tess, to beg money from relations with the obvious desire that Tess wed the rich Mr. d'Urberville. Thus begins a tale of woe in which a wealthy man cruelly mistreats a poor girl. Tess is taken advantage of by Mr. d'Urberville and leaves his house, returning home to have their child, who subsequently dies. Throughout the rest of this fascinating novel, Tess is tormented by guilt at the thought of her impurity and vows to never marry. She is tested when she meets Angel, the clever son of a priest, and falls in love with him. After days of pleading, Tess gives in to Angel and consents to marry him. Angel deserts Tess when he finds the innocent country girl he fell in love with is not so pure.
Many thanks to Mr Praetzellis for his wonderful reading of Hardy's novel. His performance will please all fans of classic British literature.
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